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Doug Fine Education. (2012) 'Too High to Fail Cannabis and the New Green Economic Revolution.'

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America 32, Mendocino 15, Us 15, California 9, Matt Cohen 5, U.s. 5, Coors 4, Canada 3, New Mexico 3, Mexico 3, Conkling 3, Diane 3, Dave 2, Obama 2, Dale 2, Dr. Spock 2, Steve 2, Cartel 2, Washington 2, North Dakota 2,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Doug Fine  Education.  (2012) 'Too High to Fail  
   Cannabis and the New Green Economic Revolution.'  

    September 16, 2012
    9:15 - 10:45am EDT  

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wouldn't forget him. it's like a hitchcock movie. it's incredibly creepy and absolutely terrifying. finally, guiteau has what he believed was a divine inspiration. god wanted him to kill the president. there's nothing personal, he would later say, simply god's will. as strange and fascinating and nearly as dangerous as guiteau was, senator roscoe conkling. and that's chester arthur. conkling was a vain, preening, brutally powerful machine politician who appointed himself the garfield enemy. he wore canary yellow west coast -- waistcoat. you can see the straight girl and milk this for it, and he
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would coil at the slightest touch. in fact, his vanity was so -- use famously ridiculed for it by another congressman on the floor of congress. but conkling was no joke. he was dangerously powerful. as a senior senator from new york he controlled the new york customs palace which was the largest federal office in the trendy, and controlled 70% of the countries customs revenue. conkling tightly control patronage within his state, and the expected template and unquestioning loyalty. in fact, his apartment in new york was known as the morgue. conkling was enraged when his candidate, former president grant, didn't get the nomination, but he was apoplectic when he realized that he couldn't control garfield. to conkling, the 10th of garfield's life was his ticket back into power. >> you can watch this and other
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programs online at booktv.org. >> opec some booktv, investigative journalist doug fine looks at the financial benefits of legalizing cannabis, which he argues would add close to $100 billion to the u.s. economy. this is about an hour 15 minutes. >> also make sure you ask your questions in this mic when it comes to questioning. we are on c-span and want to make sure we heard. racer hand when you want to ask a question and i will get the mic to you. >> thank you. andrew, it is an absolute honor to be here at harborside health center. i think this is going -- for the wider world, i wanted to educate people, that if there is any question that cannabis is good for america and good for its people, good for itself in good for its economy, this is grand
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central station, 80,000 some patients are served here, all demographics, all income level, this is a place that we are a better america for it being here, and may long it thrive. thank you for having here today. i'm thrilled. [applause] peaks of the tour, no question about it as andrew mentioned what i'm going to be taking us through today is a journey of one cannabis plant from farm to patient in california which is unilaterally in 2011 declared a drug peace. i relocated my family there to research what would happen and teamed up with a farmer, cooperation of local law enforcement, and that's what i will be talking to you about today. big picture, journalistically, good news from the farmland to the drug were. we are winning.
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it may not seem, when i say we, i was mean the american people, the 56% of americans are really -- fully read to get cannabis, regulate like something along the lines of -- upwards of 80% of americans supporting medical cannabis but now we're in solid majority, supporting, just in the the drug were, especially vis-à-vis the domestic war on cannabis. that may be an overly optimistic view for some people who know some of the rates that are going on still against this plant that humans have utilize for millennia, but i assure the long-term story is going to have a happy ending. wind, we will have to see. but first a little background on the plant itself. how does a flower become a felony. in 1937 in the southwest region where i live in new mexico, there was tension between anglo and latino power structures.
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some of -- excuse me. sorry about that. this will happen a few times today. my projector sometimes ask a little bit funky. we are golden. hopefully it won't happen. so that was sort of this demonization of there's this we that will confront -- corrupt young woman that mexicans use. on the east coast the first head of the bureau of narcotics after prohibition ended was famous for lines to newspapers report, if you think politicians are bad, so the whole reef or madness, then in 1971, of course famously 40 years, one should our tax dollars ago richard nixon started the modern war on drugs. when is the drug war going to
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end? i asked gale, that of california normal, is it inevitable that the drug peace will come here and he suggested but it could be michigan they could in 20. that is up to us as americans to demand that this is not a silly college peace issue. is the economic and health, well being of our nation. so to illustrate that, and i want to tell you what motivated me. back in new mexico i lived in the border area. my next-door neighbor, a retiree, with self-medicating on cannabis for some anxiety issues. and i never wake up on my goat ranch to the sound of hummingbird wings atrophy. one day, helicopters and planes. is not a coyote in a creek bed. there were 60 guys in white
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uvs in a piece is trying to look inconspicuous. [laughter] i think it was in 11 plans, we financed, i'm close on the names, the interagency border area not products task of come something, that's a post regarding -- that's supposed to be fighting cartel. got my neighbor and transport him down to el paso, texas, where his lawyer was waiting. he spent not a second in jail, and easily millions of dollars ofur taxpayer money spent that day. put my kids in danger, but it comes out of your but a mayor of the nearby town, turns out he's a gun smuggling -- he's a cartel member, smuggling back and forth but it's like that scene in airplane for the pterosaur
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walking through with the machine guns at the old lady, her pocketbook sets off the protector and the slammer to the ground. the targets of the drug war on the -- are the wrong targets were the lesson for me as a journalist. i think law enforcement at all levels is after to serve and protect to help us. the ones that i met at all levels in the course of the research for this book were generally good people. some of them believed in their task force. some realize it's just a job and do just been taxpayer money. but nontheless, people try to do their job. the path is law enforcement. the problem is we need to turn off the tap, 9 million domestic dollars going to so-called enforcement. 40 years, 1 trillion tax dollars and almost no effect on supply and demand. the wider american mainstream is waking up. i live in a place in new mexico where the cowboy hat, old ladies think barack obama was born in
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libya. when i ask him when as with a new book is about and they tell -- i don't, it's an analysis by the end of the drug were was good for america, without fail the response is, yeah, the tragedies and next and when is the drug were going to end? a plant that is not that dangers. win over going to stop arresting people for pot? the truth is black and white. i think it's dangerous for him as a journalist of two decades experience, to sound too much of a cheerleader about any particular issue. these people are going to think cheech, or maybe woody harrelson, and the reality is from a journalistic perspective it's black and white, the billions that could be put back into our economy while hurting the cartels. i know dale would now have to statistic that is often tied up to 70% of cartels profit comes from cannabis might be of ohio.
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but the fact is quite a lot of organized crime, financing, is not from the heroines and the math. it's from cannabis and we can have american farmers growing this. baking to put this plant back to work for american factors, clothing and energy. i went to a sustainability festival a few years ago for my previous book was giving a talk. the other speaker was the usda's expert on biofuels. smartly. she told me about all kind of biofuels i have not heard of. filters toxic out of soil. great biofuel. and she gave a spiel. i learned a lot the i said i just are researching a book, i said what about industrial cannabis. and she the best there is. 92 the better than court or so weight in terms of a. and i said but question that
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don't you know? it's a sketch of one felony. were not allowed to talk about. basically can solve our energy problem, released make a big gain in energy profit problem is the intentional site. so americans are realizing this. i saw the war isn't going at the right target i had to write about but i didn't want to do another book. there's books out there whining, telling the truth of the drug war is mistake. it's one of our worst policies. i wanted to see what example i could give. i mean, arkansas, to do know this? the day before yesterday arkansas just voted to the medical cannabis on the ballot. so i wanted to give those 46% of americans that are supposedly not in support of the inning the war on cannabis an example of what the drug peace might look like.
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all we've got is embarrassingly the most incarcerated nation in history, 10 times more people in present-day come in india's, hundreds of thousands which is using this relatively especially compared to alcohol, harmless plant. so it's time to get cannabis out of the control act. i went to mendocino county. why? 80% of economy out there. i know speaking to an educated crowd here at harborside health center tonight, so you will probably know the answer to this, but the number in federal legal crop from the 2010 generous 7,474,000,000 crops. that was grapes. whatever is, at if users. what you think that by a tiny, 80,000, just the farms, what those cannabis plants worth, shut out a number.
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[inaudible] >> 200 million. don't levitate this. i'll tell you i got the number. conservative, 6 billion. i want to do afterwards whether not you think this is legit because they'll is a knowledgeable guy on this but here's the do. in 2010 -- >> just mendocino county? >> and this is where the number comes from. law enforcement sees 6-under thousand plans in 2010 and estimated it at 10% of the crop. so gross and farmers are way lower than that it is white 1% of the problem. let's be generous. is it fair to give a thousand dollars value on a low-end cannabis plant? if so, the 6 million plants that did make it through to patients, at $1000 a pop is where the figure comes from. somewhere around the country could be higher, it could be low. can we at least agree --
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[inaudible] >> what do you think? [inaudible] >> so you see that ended dea's drug report on the annual federal drug report. we don't know. we're trying to eradicate it but it's ever. hawaiians have asked us not to eradicate it anymore. we can't really stop this blanket everybody wants this plant, soy. i think it's worth noting, i don't know noting, i don't know if nobody can hear, but one that may in my number sight of one but it was a little, so maybe it's somewhere in the. so mendocino county, three generations in their treachery, a three for each farmer and his 6 billion versus 34 mental which copper you going to choose? so mendocino county became the first county in america to ban
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genetically modified organisms by popular growth. this is a great aggressive place at one of the members of the board of supervisors who permitted cannabis, which we'll talk about, called it a bubble within the bubble within the bubble. northern california a little more progressive, mendocino county, if it were any more open-minded it would be clothing optional and supermarket. here's your garden. carrots, tomatoes, cannabis, cannabis, cannabis. thank you. appreciate that. apologies for the technical glitches. anthony vignette the medical marijuana patients union. this is the state printed signed the medical marijuana patients sign for highway cleanup. cancel on that. then go to slideshow at the top and then -- second one down. beautiful. so mendocino sheriff, local boy,
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very popular, he knows. he told me that when he flew over the county when he first became sure, he said so that's not that conservative republican paid to use dandridge tuitions at the same time. [laughter] this is the economy. this was a fellow, this is not cheech and chong share. this is a law enforcement profession, a doug ridder law enforcement professional who said i had a tremendous revelatory moment when you californians passed in 1996 vote, permitting medical cannabis in california. he said mike goodes, the sun still rises. distillate fourth of july parade. it's still america. made we could acknowledge this and derive some revenue. like everyplace else in america, the economy was in the tank, and he was -- he said you've got to
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fire seven deputy shares. they haven't added a share since 1972 in mendocino county. he did want to does whatever it was, 20% of his force. so the board of supervisors passed a zoning ordinance, 9.31, which is known as a zip ty ordinance. that's because of the little bracelets of the little yellow zip ty that every play and we. the plan was permit 99 plans perform and the reason for that is to show some respect because that 100 plants, a federal sentencing minim kicks in for conspiracy. so we will permit 99 plans for roughly a fee of about $85 per former for all the zip-tie's. sustainability went along. they were zoning rules. franklin a lot of people in mendocino were opposed continues to street. they said your these guys to
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come how much medicine i can grow from a collection of my patients? it was a safe middle ground and it was becoming very popular. america, the drug peace worked. 100 farmers came on board. they raised 600,000 uzbek page saved by sheriffs seven deputy. he was a rock star up there. the surrounding counties were all going to implement this. but the biggest impact, what sheriff tom and his administrator told me was not so much the economic savings. it was public safety savings. the sergeant told him i 26 years i have never seen this. people calling for domestic violence, home invasions, things they were afraid to call in the past because they were afraid that they might get busted for their garden. nokia chamber of commerce, have
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a sheriffs permit, they have bracelets and necklaces on all their plants. it was an unmitigated success. you will notice past tense, andrew get into slightly unhelpfully -- by zip-tie program work. heading into mendocino county, it's quite possible that it didn't so much become native -- i'm a rancher of myself but not cannabis ranch. i make good rant you. i have a broken down truck, i have the beard and i fit right in. hemp and cannabis were already in my families like the only organic hemp, diapers. the soap for sale out here in the lobby. we tie our tomato plants with hemp twine because it holds up the best. we have to get from roaming.
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the hemp market is growing. it's in the dodge viper romper and was but i couldn't believe it. i call to pick up they said that, we used cannabis in the dodge viper because it works and it's good. what i really want to see is fill 'er up with hemp. this is not using hemp seed oil. i added to my family shake everyone. non-psychoactive. it's not something to chew i. -- that gets you high. i want to see if i'm getting this right. your brother, one of the founders, used to get navy or army surplus hemp that have a business selling back in the '70s? >> it was-in the '90s we had a
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company, a hemp company and we primary specialize in clothing. the greatest hemp denim ever made from 100% hemp. it was primarily romanian. it was not something that we wanted to embrace at the time. the hemp market sort of imploded during the late 90s and it became very difficult for us to do everything we wanted to do with the plan. then when medical cannabis became legal we sort of felt like that was the area that we needed to focus on, so he came to california. but we had a great time doing fee industrial cannabis and we learned a lot, just as were -- you articulated the industrial cannabis, a special with cellulose, just has so much potential. people can't even realize the
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potential. it's like a processing chip potential. i mean, it has huge potential speak so this is the photo that i want america to remember. this is the photo. this is a 26 year old, 26 year long veteran of law enforcement shaking hands with an american, sustainable, locally permitted, taxpaying cannabis farmer on his farm with no problems to look at everybody is happy and smiling. america, the drug peace works. don't let anybody scare you, think of the children. i'm a patriot. at a father of two small children. i want my kids to be safe. i want them to be healthy. if you're going to worry, worry about america's real prescription abuse. and alcohol. cannabis is not the problem to cannabis is good for our country in just about every way. and what come anything in the
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abuse. these drug warriors just say won't the children get it? criminals did not ask for id. so if you're worried it will be good enough, if it's regulated like alcohol for social use for adults, i'm sorry, it's going to be just about as good as protection predicates are call today, with far fewer side effects. carrots, aspen, anything can be abused if it's overuse. that's why we got to educate our kids. no problem. the drug war is over. sorry about that. so here is a zip-tie to plan. this is the actual grace. here's the farmer i follow. very brave of him to use his real name in the book. to this day he could be a target. this is going crazy. maybe with a truck pulling it out one more time. so sorry. i will try turning this off. it has a mind of itself the otherwise it's breaking the air here at harborside. the smells of cannabis i think
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are a beautiful and wonderful thing. i don't think it would be a problem for anybody. so his father was a freedom fighter in hungary against the soviets. here, he basically in his father said you do what you believe is right. this guy believes that what he does as an american cannabis farmer israel. he paces berkeley tuition, in cash, no questions asked from the farming operation before he moved to mendocino and started growing sustainably. they went to an automatic counter in your paid up through june. he always paid his taxes even when he was undergrad. he would use some euphemism like independent contractor. this is just a man who decided he was going to be above board about what he does. in my mighty as an american hero. here he is bank is these initiatives departments and, of course, getting his zip-tie.
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and ready to hurt the cartel. meanwhile, i've learned what profiling is. cannabis farmers in the famous area of cafta had to run what they call the cotler. it's highly one-to-one to the big market bay area and los angeles. we're only talking about legitimate people. not people but black marketeers going to the triple the price they can get in missouri and south government. this is people keeping it in state following state law. the law enforcement resources are still fighting the drug war on the gravy train now that it's sort of like, you've got 100,000 wildebeests crossing the river but only 20 the police are going to get eaten, but you don't want to be one of them. that's what it is like for a cannabis farmer trying to get medicine to patients in
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california. the moment early my research i was going to do a speaking event from a previous book, left mendocino county, i have a vegetable oil powered truck so some argued it was the effervescence given accounts. i don't know why they would've had the munchies, but the moment i crossed into sonoma county, underneath a bill road, anheuser-busch knows what america's number one cash crop is, they are saying you can use cannabis. this is what the budweiser ad is saying. it sank drinking our beer, enjoy humanities oldest plant and go see the giants. that's great to have a good time. to be an american. that's what anheuser-busch's sank with and. meanwhile, i crossed the border, immediately pulled over, falsely told that my truck smelled like cannabis. it was driven by i was researching a book on the drug war and -- hands behind my back into the back of a shares vehicle. they're pulling my kids eat out.
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i went with this it just tells it have a lot our little. dedicated yeah, 10 pounds, 100 pounds? i said 10 pounds is a little? they said here 10 pounds a little. i don't think have ever seen one ounce or two ounces. so i told the officers that i was not effect tearing cannabis but i was writing a book about and could i perhaps go on a ride along with him. and that rather quickly ended, quickly ended the incident. but this whole, your truck smelled like cannabis ruse works most of the time because most of time it is a wildebeests and the crocodiles have someone to be coming out of -- i looked the part. i was just on the journalistic side of it so the cover wrong guy. i did the meth on how much, and i crossed the drug war gravy train tunnel like i think i commend it those 11 adult or
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$7000, it's in the book, a day. but another time i wasted not having cannabis on me that day. but the drug war, our tax dollars directly reimbursed law enforcement for american property seizure. on east coast its manifest often with the gulf stop and frisk, often a minority youth because the more rest -- a wretched document a more drug war money could be of more rural areas -- you might remember the incident, a a year or two ago the u.s. attorney for the eastern district of california, just turned over 1000 in cash, some sheriff's department, in his district. thanks for helping us with his right. here's 100 grand. enjoy, no questions asked. that's property seized from americans, or american taxpayer don't. canada's much of an must be removed -- cannabis must be
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removed from the cannabis act. helicopters are overhead at all times. it seems like i lose the slide, the laser pointer, sorry about that. you can see the strict zoning guidelines that the program had. sorry about that. it's still allowing me. there we go. thank you. wow. sorry, one more time. thank you for doing that. i really appreciate that. looking good so far. i won't use the later pointer anymore, but these banners were put by the sheriff's department on the fence along all the
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zip-tie permitted farms in the 2011 growing season. and the point was the helicopters are constantly overhead to see, a local helicopters to leave them alone because their permitted. the sheriff issued a directive. most of his force -- the sheriff had to order the local drug warriors to call him if they saw ivana before they even considered what's called issuing paper, issuing a warrant the in 2011 they were not rated until these of sad part we talked about before. what i learned from thomas, he's picking up his clothes, bring him back to the farm, showing me. you're not allowed to use the permitting program. as an organic farmer of non-cannabis plants i learned a
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lot about how to grow carrots and tomatoes from the sky. these guys were serious farmers. the best farmers of the generation. what he liked about it, the tiny flavor, was it was a high elevation, hindu develop strain that didn't get what he called couch lock. i wasn't for me with this term. some of the strains of cannabis can be known to provide great stress relief, sleep relief of pain relief from arthritis relief the but they can sometimes, the cushions can sometimes lock you out. where it's hard to move even to deliver a pizza would've. so he liked about this was he felt with the analgesic properties but without the couch
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lock. so that's the strength that i follow, the plant we called lucille. we will see a little bit of her in a moment. so it totally worked incidentally. 100 farmers came above board. if the fed to shut it down, sport overcome it would be 1000 in f1 of the countess of their generating millions of dollars for local economies. here's the schizophrenia of the drug war. u.s. attorney for the northern district california comes to mendocino county and announces we're doing a raid called operation full court press but in california knows what this is. this ago, pick up a few
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undocumented people, pick up a few plays, have a press conference, we are winning the drug war, blah, blah, blah. there's a sheriff tom come and they go and they do their thing and thankfully of is a popular project even within mendocino county because the local gross don't like people crowing on public land. they will also be using that technique, force clearing and pesticides industry beset. so they go on and to do this rate. 13 young undocumented people crowing clear for someone else, and none of them were still in custody like a week or a month later. just typical waste of taxpayer money. a week later, there's sheriff tom. he's wearing a purple polo shirt next to the banner. there's a district attorney.
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the chief prosecutor for the county. and there is the board of supervisors professor the program, vigorous support of the program for all on the panel design for local cannabis farmers to ask questions about how they can legally grow. so you have reagan, thrown into. next week, same guy sitting at the table and it was a q&a like will have after this. people saying dave, for the district attorney, dave, listen, i know the plant limit is night and i grow from seed instead of clothes so i don't know the sex of the plant. you want the female plants. mayo plans, and i shouldn't a lot of breeding are irrelevant. so dave, can i go 150 plants instead of 99 before i sex than? and the window the sexting can get it down to 99? this was an inside the bubble event. here's farmer matt cohen, local chamber of commerce now come
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farm bureau member in good standing. american taxpaying cannabis farmer. ladies and gentlemen, of america, the drug war is unnecessary, and it's going to be over soon. i promise to any candidate looking for a popular way to rally the youthful, every time i turn on cnn it's a young people are motivated for this election for obama as they were in 2004, these guys have no problem getting elected telling us the drug war isn't understood and are cannabis laws need to become less. that's a barack obama quote. hasn't happened in his first term. if you were to get up there tomorrow and say listen, sorry i've ignore the true -- i ignored the drug were, i think, i believe that americans of all political persuasions are ready
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to end the drug war. this is very focused his it every time i touched later pointer, sorry, there's a lot of good groups that folks can get their information from. norml is a grateful but i'm sure the harborside website has tons of information, as well. and the other thing i wanted to mention is when you call your congresspeople and senators and say, it's important for america to get the $30 billion out of the budget in this time of crisis and allow this billions of tax dollars come while crippling the cartel, don't allow some have fast rescheduling of the plant that allows the pharmaceutical companies to concentrate it as michael points out, we -- the whole plant needs to be legalized but i think cannabis needs to be fully controlled from the controls subsidy back and regulate like alcohol. i don't know if that's harborside's procedure. but with other good
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organizations, law enforcement can go to any of these websites. law enforcement against prohibition, drug policy alliance is great. norml of course and students for sensible drug policy half branches at hundreds of universities. sorry for the brief bomber slide. this is the bad news portion to days before harvest, american taxpaying locally permitted jobs, saving, deputy dawg city, economy saving, crime hurting, railed against the cartel of, 6 a.m., six agents bashed down his door. separate him from his wife with no access to attorneys, bases three-course a million dollars worth of medicine that patients including 3300 of his patients were in his cooperative including many cancer patients
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needed american growth pesticide three. i believe it was you tell some of his had met collins raid was a victory for the cartel. it was the worst manifestation of the drug war. i want to do with the dea home. i call them up in guy said why are you ready north star? he said never heard of him but we are bringing them, there breaking federal law. he said tell this to the cannabis farmers. you don't like controlled substances act, change the act. all we're doing is enforcing. i thought really? federal law just doesn't enforce? what about the 400 illegal or at least undocumented great workers such have to drive past to get to the -- you are not enforcing federal law uniformly. not that those hard-working great farmer should be busted. we love our grades. the fact is federal law is not
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being implemented equally at all. so these are the questions i think. not so much questions for folks at harborside additionally people want to know. with any the drug were increase use? i debated on the other day and i said was when they legalized it, answered in his window. what if the children, the children? it could not keep issued access to cannabis today. all over the country kids are saying it's easier than our call because alcohol you have to show id. criminals don't ask for id. i would be willing to trade off for the decrease in crime when the cartels are out of it and we can take 1 billion of those 30 billion we waste on the drug war today for education to make sure that, especially use for children would not increase. even if it isn't a gateway drug
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am old will state that only is it not a gateway drug that the traditional sort of stereotype of the user that is talked our, cheech and chong's author, any cognitive impairment, even with long-term habitual use, is not only relatively insignificant but it is significant drug it diminishes when you scale back. so basically we have some issues. we have to decide on on society. how are we going to test cannabis for driving? cannabis testing will stay in your system way longer after any intoxication is still there so we have to ask law enforcement to be smarter about how to judge for intoxication. this will help us with a real epidemic, whole epidemic. that is not really easily done either. we have to change how we test.
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a couple of pictures of the cannabis plant itself. the two main psychoactive branches of cannabis are cannabis inc. above. very beautiful, robust because the plant comes in cold climates. the others are more treelike. they are tropically descended, mostly along the corridors where the original. today most are a blend of the two but i try to show a row distinction so you could see a different the cannabis plant can be. talk about no statement. this is what i think would be great in america. go to apart a franciscan if you want a glass of wine and enjoy a little bit of cannabis, they reduce. i think it works for the 100 million americans have used cannabis, including our last three presidents. spent the flower trimming time of year is the least favorite
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time of year during these last days of prohibition. the farmer i followed, day after day you have this monotonous task of trimming the leaves off the flower so the bugs are ready to go. it's when the home invasions happen. it's when you to hire people. it's very hard to our people buy the book winner technically violating violating federal law. pay them fairly. it would have workers, that's why the zip-tie people were planning on having a countywide facility and set every farmer having to do in their basement. he was 100% legal. even if the scale was regulated, was permitted by the county which just goes to show the form of black marketers are the best people to write legislation because they know every little and they make sure that every scale and zip-tie program was registered with the county. this program works. is some the downsides of
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prohibition. you have neighborhoods all over that just a look, if you don't litter, turnaround. you don't want to coming. i flew over the county. is a cannabis farm in every yard, pretty much in mendocino county, california. prohibition has force in dortmund i don't want to do indoor versus outdoor rivalry thing because there's a place for all types of farming. so the fact is i'm a sustainability journalist but if i would to go to my farmer's market want from told told me the broccoli was grown under godson and inorganic local so with worms and local mycobacteria, versus something that's grown under a grow light in a greenhouse, i would choose outside. is because when i'm in the i'm a crunchy outdoors guy for my cares and whatnot. i don't like the pesticides and high energy use vestries and gone into in cool -- indoor growing. if you still grow indoors, sometimes you have to, after
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prohibition, try as sustainable as possible. suppressing the smell of the cannabis so you can run the gauntlet pass the crocodiles on highway 101 and get it down. initially said to have little kids i want to separate my research of the cannabis industry from my family, my home life and my work life. we lived in a remote cabin. there was no way to avoid. there was no problem, no public safety from or anything. so the minute you get into the first billboard, get it ready to grow, so this is what prohibition does. it enforces an underground, so everybody kind of mentality that we will benefit from a public safety perspective of prohibition. so the plant that i followed was
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ready for harvest. it was october, the ranger coming, it was time to harvest. she is ready to go. locally developed a strain grown by a local outdoor farmer. thomas the farmer named this individual plant, named lucille after initially belligerent neighbor of his, very, very funny back story. the neighbor, the fellow was an organic -- ever in the area said he paid for his farm from 20 years of cannabis farming. ..
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>> meanwhile, i didn't realize how attached i was growing to this class. i was watching this plant for five months. he cures her, notice, by the way, thomas is wearing his obama 2012 shirt. in 2008 he moved to florida, and he's still giving obama another chance. for those who are out there who are wondering, if you want to end the drug war, for whom do you hope? you have no hope if you vote for romney, he won't even talk about it. if you believe in the reality of our current two-party system, your only hope is not only to vote for obama, but to lean on your legislators that this is the number one issue, and they need to take it seriously. there are people in this room who have been fighting this battle for decades, and they're looking at me like, yeah, johnny come late ri, right, congress is going to wake up. they're gonna, the tipping point is going to be reached, it really is. anyway, a uc daistles professor
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who wanted to end the drug war forms this nonprofit testing company and comes down to thomas' farm, takes a little piece of lucille, tests her for things you don't want in the plant, molds, um, pesticides, and then things you do want. for people who are not familiar with this, these are the chemical components of the plant. there are more than 90 of them known, ths, of course, being the dthc, of course, being the most famous one. but there's 90 of them showing very strong medicinal benefits and, hopefully, when we get this plant out of the controlled substances act, we'll be able to study it more. but the hallet people provided this smell sealing service as well. so there is thomas' crop. he had to run the gauntlet down 101 six times. he polished it so the cops would know he was an above board college graduate, and he made it through the gauntlet six times,
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and i got to meet the patients. and this, ladies and gentlemen, is what changed my -- or opened my mind forever about how important cannabis is just from the medical side. i am a big believer that in the long run industrial cannabis will prove more valuable to the american economy than social cannabis through energy. today budweiser's a big company, but exxon's a bigger company. and i think if we solve the energy crisis through industrial cannabis, that'll be even bigger than social/me differencal. but just for medicinal. anyone out there who might think medical cannabis is a sham, wow. i went to the senior subdivision, these with the fellow who got raided. thomas decided to make them patient number one and two. he donated a good amount of lucille, this first plant that i was following. diane, there were a couple. diane, um, debilitating
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arthritis, and her husband, bill, in sonoma county, has been fighting liver cancer. and i, they welcomed me into their home, and they told me to ask them anything. so i walked in and said, bill, why cannabis? he was laying in bed, he was having a bad day. he said i've never used it, but i was down to 118 pounds, and my encologist said if you don't try cannabis, you're going to die. so i did, bill said, and eight months later i weigh 155 pounds, i have a good appetite. i'm on my feet, i'm not zonked from opiates, and this plant, he told me, saved my life. so, please, america, don't try and tell me that medical cannabis is a sham. now, i wanted to know how this worked, this plant that i followed. so a couple days later diane and bill called me and said he had his first-ever craving for beef
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vogue november. i don't know where you can get that, but that's what he wanted. so the plant worked for him. but for her debilitating arthritis, she said it had a mild analgesic property, and the greger mendel of the strain was absolutely correct. it was fascinating visiting his farm. he was giving the me, here, smell this, and the eighth generation of this, i finally got that plum finish. i didn't know what he was talking about, but he promised me it wouldn't have that could be lock, and diane confirmed that. she said it didn't totally eliminate my pain. i need a stronger, couch-lock type thing to e limb mate any arthritis on the bad day, but diane told me i'm going to recommend it to my doctor, and if he needs to stay focused on the job without any sort of zonkiness, this is the strain for him. this was valuable for thomas because it's not always so easy to find a doctor that's going to
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be able to explain all this to you. these tricombs, of course, very sticky are where a lot of the can baa marked for identifications reside. as for the history of the plant, before 1937 the u.s. agricultural report year after year advised farmers to grow this plant, it's a terrific plant for the soil, for industry. humans have been using it for thousands of years. the oldest existing medical handbook is a chinese tome with tons of cannabis recipes in it. thomas jefferson wrote on cannabis paper canvas that covered the covered wagons that settled the west out here, of course, come from cannabis fibers. this is a plant that humans says these plants have bread up. -- bred up. we have can by marked for identification receptors that
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will spring up in your body if you have a diseased pancreas. it's also called the best farmers of the generation because they've learned how to develop a plant with potency that was, you know, unrivaled decades ago. but let's t you listen to -- lest you listen to warriors who say the potency makes the plant for dangerous, it just means one needs to use less for various means. and let's talk about powerful people who agree with everything we're talking about today. i thought i was going to have to, you know, convince people, you know? pat robertson, the teleadvantagist, says end the drug war. it is wrong to imprison young americans for a plant. george friggin' schultz, and, of course, the late milton friedman, right-wing conservative economist said only thing prohibiting something that
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people want does is creates organized crime. that's all it does. he called it obscene profits for criminals. obviously, folks, ending the drug war is the right decision. meanwhile, the farmer that i followed who did not get busted is still going to protests, still farming, still supplying patients, and all he wallets -- this is the message he wants me to leave everybody with today -- all i want, he says, is to be a normal american taxpayer and a farmer where it's no different from growing carrots or apples. he is providing a product that americans want. he agrees with the agricultural commissioner of north dakota who's begging, begging cannabis to get out of the controlled substances act so that his state can profit like canada is. 20% a year the canadian cannabis market is growing. so this last slide along with the hemp american flag with 30-something stars, so sometime in the 19th century when we last appreciated this plant. i'll leave it with what the
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american government said in a propaganda film i hope everybody will watch on you do you think -- youtube, "hemp for victory." thank you very much. [applause] >> doug fine, everybody. the book is "too high to fail." go get it. it's very, very powerful. anybody have any questions for doug? i know i have one. >> yeah, ask 'em. ask away. >> anybody else? >> you're focusing here on the legal growers, would-be legal growers in mend see know. did you have a sense of how many of the growers didn't care where the pot was going at all? >> that's a great, great, great, great question. for those of who didn't hear it, the question is nice of me to focus on the farmers who bravely started to become above board. the u.s. attorney according to the board of supervisors members personally threatened members of
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the board of supervisors if they didn't cancel this crime-reducing, deputy sheriff job-saving, cartel-hurting, cannabis-farming program, and they did under threat. the mend see know program was temporarily shut down. i would have had a different answer if we were having this question when the feds hadn't shut it down, but 100 farmers is a tiny number. what i noticed from speaking with them is that they were paying attention. as the season was going on, they were watching very carefully, and the prevailing -- i worked at the food bank while i was living there just to give a little something back to the community while i was there, and quite a lot of the volunteers were people doing probation and community service for cannabis. [laughter]
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and i got some of my best tips from them. and what you'd hear -- and also, um, one of the fellows that lived very near me was what do you call a black market grower, somebody that is not part of the zip tie program and was not admitting on his tax forms what he did. and you would hear at the same time two comments. they would say, oh, give me a break, this is the same very's department that kicked down my door and shot my dog, now they're going to take my name, yeah, right. and then three months later when it was working, they would say, so, you just sign up and write a check for -- is it really that easy to join? what if some of my back cabins aren't in zoning compliance, are they going to call the fire inspector, what's the deal? be can i join this program? i would say by the end of the program prior to the federal raids, um, not a solid majority, at least very close to a majority of farmers in humboldt
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county were paying attention to the program and would, if it had been a couple more years to grow and mature without federal influence, probably would have come onboard and would again if it happened again. but the reality that dale alludes to is very true which is that probably the vast majority of emerald triangle cannabis grown today goes to what we would consider the black market. and my message for those farmers when i go to mendicino tomorrow is when they say, oh, but if we legalize, it's going to be controlled by coors or philip morris, and they're going to put all of us out of business. i say we have a multibillion dollar craft beer market in this country, we have people that don't want coors, we have people that want fat tire ale, and if you market the emerald triangle
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which is what the growers' association trade group is trying to do, if you market it the way napa marketed wine and say this is the top shelf, this is when you really want to impress somebody, don't go to the corner store for coors cannabis, buy emeralds, you know, triangle certified cannabis, you'll have no problem. if you're just churning out buds to pay the remit, you already are a coors. but if you want to be the best, there will always be a niche and a market for you. other questions? >> anybody else? i got one. >> okay. >> when did you start investigating and writing your book? >> um, about now about two years ago when all that craziness happened that i talked about earlier in my immediate neighborhood. my retiring neighbor busted for 12 plants while a mayor of an
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american city was working uninterrupted for a cartel. for supplying guns to the cartels and allowing the northward transport of stuff. so i started to pay attention to that, and i said i've got to write a book about that, but i didn't want to just complain about the problems, i wanted to see if there was a solution, and that's why i chose mendocino county, so about who years ago. did that answer your question? >> yeah. >> andrew? >> my question is, how long were you actually embedded up there, and it's clear that you had the -- you wanted to write a book about this, and you probably had a unique, you wanted a kind of a unique point of view on the book. but then those of us who have done writing before know that once you get embedded, sometimes your original vision gets influenced by that, and i was wondering how your vision might have changed and how being embedded might have affected your family and your vision for
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the book. >> that is a terrific question. so, um, i arrived on valuen type's -- valentine's day, 2011, which gave me enough time to get settled into an extremely moldy cabin with a fox family out front, we were watching these fox kittens grow up every day that i was researching the book, and fell in the love with the county. it's beautiful up there in the redwoods. and that gave us enough time to go, gave me enough time to interview and go with thomas to the mother plant and watch him clip it off and start lucille from birth. so that, got there in february and left at the end of november after harvest, after he delivered to the patients, so i was there for an entire growing season, and that's a very long time. you know, i'm a preacher for outdoor cultivation of everything, but indoor growers have a lot -- what is it now, ten weeks, something? how quickly can you turn arounden inert crop -- around an inert crop.
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eight weeks. wow. so this is hard work for a long season up there. now, as far as going native or as far as visions being affected, i was so astounded, and i talk about this early in the book, how open everybody was there. dale was asking me, um, you know, black marketeers, you know, will they, will they ever come above board, that kind of thing? i don't know whether they'll come above board, but they sure didn't mind talking to me on the record. everybody from the sheriff to my mechanic told me, you know, when he asked me what the book was about, everybody you talked -- oh, yeah, my brother's been a farmer for years, you should look into this or this aspect of it, you know, this strain or this technique or, you know, diversion to other states' black markets or whatever. but the reality is, um, everybody was instantly open and willing to talk, just about everybody was willing to talk to me, um, about this because it's their lives. it's the economy up there. it is like walking into silicon valley and asking somebody, hey, know anything about computers or
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the new apps, you know, at google? that's what it's like. they are the best farmers of our generation. and so as -- [inaudible] so my vision really wasn't changed that much. i was just surprised. when i'm asked what were my big surprises, one was just how big a number it is. i cringe when i say six billion just in this one county because it sounds ridiculously high. that was my surprise, how big it is. secondly, just how wrong the targets are in the drug war, and the third one is how ready a mainstream middle america is to end this drug war. i think america is really ready to end this thing. yeah. >> if it was to be legalized, i've seen some studies lately, though, obviously production would go radically up and, therefore, the price would drop significantly. what's your view of that in terms of, you know, it being still an economic driver or whatever? >> well, first of all, i think it's very important, yet another reason why cannabis must be
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entirely removed from the controlled substances act to let states regulate because what some of the drug warriors who would like us to spend another 40 years and trillions in tax money are arguing against this november's legalization votes, full votes in governor, colorado and -- oregon, colorado and washington. they're saying, oh, when that happens, people are just going to be shoving locally-legal cannabis into states where there's still prohibition. but in terms of a price drop, there's no question that we are asking our american farmers of america's already number one cash crop -- i know there's some dispute on the fact, on the figures on this, but that what's often described as larger crop than corn and wheat combined. abc news says billion dollar crop already, we're asking these farmers to radically change their economy. and there's a worry there. stalin tried to do that in the soviet union. people start -- we do, however, have a little bit of a example with alcohol prohibition, and
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the reality is after alcohol prohibition ended, um, the bootleggers, the duke boys or whatever, they were put out of business. now they just race nascar. that's where nascar started, you know, it was bootleggers trying to outrun the prohibitionists. but, and then budweiser and jack daniel's and whatever dominated for 50, 60 years until jamie carter allowed my -- jimmy carter allowed microbrews to brew commercial. so as long as we are smart about allowing the true craft farmers to be allowed to continue without interference, i'm not too worried about the big, long-term price drops. and as i alluded to, i think the trail land, for the north dakota and nebraska, it's going to be such a boom no matter what the price is. putting farmers back on the land, i think, is going to be good for the economy and not bad for the economy. and i say this with humility because it's easy for me as a journalist to be like, hey, don't worry about it. just legalize it. you farmers will be fine.
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but i really do think the wheat will separate from the chaff, and the best farmers will rise to the surface. i also think on the psychoactive social/medicinal end, there's going to be a market for what we today would be called the whole plant. bud trimming came about because people want the most thc, and that's in the flowers. but we're finding the balanced profile medically is often the most beneficial whether ground up, nonpsychoactively in shakes or administered through smoking vaporization or edibles. we may one day see it in the whole foods section, not just flowers and buds, but whole plants. that's a whole other specialty niche i think we may one day see. is that it? >> i've got one more. >> go for it. >> okay. so it's kind of -- it's refreshing to hear you say that we're almost out of this thing. [laughter] for those of us, for those of us
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firmly under the heel of the federal government like we are at harvestside health center, our collect i have is under -- collective is under -- [inaudible] right now, and you mentioned matt cohen and all the people up there who have been raided or stopped and the feds seem to be this year, 2012, on a rampage and, quite frankly, some could argue winning pretty handily right now. those of us who are fighting that and were fighting it on every single front, and you mentioned the ballot initiatives with steve and i and the harvestside team, we support all those initiatives. and it's no secret that we also believe in a wellness, nonintoxication strategy. so there's all these strategies in the movement how to get to where we are right now to where you are saying we are inevitably going to be soon, and some people say, well, just support
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president obama, and he'll take care of it. [laughter] some people say go with industrial hemp and forget everything else. some people say just regulate it like alcohol. some people say make sure you have strong medicinal regulations, and everything else will follow on that since that has the most public support which is sort of where steve and harborside come from. what is your opinion personally? what path do you think is the best one for our movement to take? >> well, i confess to being an optimist. i will confess to being an optimist. i'm a patriot. i think despite all the money in the political system that, um, representative democracy works when the voice is loud enough and we're approaching it. we've gone from 49% of americans to 56% sporting full legalization of cannabis just in the last year, and alcohol prohibition ended in a similar manner. right towards the end of prohibition, states -- 17 states are medical cannabis states and also have decriminalized, same
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thing happened with alcohol. states just were stay saying it's not, we don't support this policy anymore, and we're going to do our own thing. secondly, the prohibitionists according to ken burns and his documentary about prohibition pushed too hard at the end just when public opinion was turning against prohibition, these speakeasy raids happened that had nothing to do with busting organized crime, it was people trying to have a beer at the end of the day. the local cities didn't care, they were fine with it, but the federal prohibitionists were coming in and throwing respectable people in paddy wagons, and i think that is analogous to the ridiculous hassle you guys are forming. americans who don't know that this facility, this help center here, this is not a johnny come lately, this is not a sense of millionaires, people trying to cash in and get rich, these are people who have been in the movement of trying to end the wrong drug war for decades and trying to help patients.
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to be under federal threat as you guys are here is an abomination as a taxpayer and a patriot and a voter. i am outraged to hear that you and so many other great providers, american cannabis providers, are being threatened around the nation. so let's make sure that's stated for the record. but i do believe we're in the final throes. i think that what we're seeing is desperation, and it's contrary to public opinion. as i am touring around the nation and telling people that people like matt cohen of northstar organics, locally-permitted, tax-paying members are getting invaded, people are outraged. i think the people that are going to be watching this -- sorry to go break the fourth wall and talk about booktv here, but i think americans are outraged at where their drug war tax money is going. and that's why i'm an optimist. a lot of good it does matt
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cohen, they bankrupted him and kept 3300 patients from getting their medicine who had to, some of whom had to go back to cartel supplies. by the way, in case there's any question of is matt cohen trying to cash in, i don't think i mentioned it during the talk, he collected -- i saw his tax returns -- $57,000 over the last three years in salary. this was not a man getting rich, entrepreneur. this was a man supplying patients. and an activist. so it's easy for me to say that you guys facing these horrible threats are sort of the last potential casualtieses. let's hope not, of the drug war. but i deeply believe we are close to the tipping point. you know, as the mechanic i used to go to said, i'm either right, or i'm wrong, you know? it's either going to happen, or it's not going to happen. but i'm having trouble -- let me give you one quick other example. in the last week or two i've done two hourlong public radio
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shows one in wisconsin and the other in maryland on the beltway, npr station. and both times three-quarters of the way through the broadcast the host had to say, okay, people who are calling in in support of, you know, the author and his book and ending the drug war, great, we get the point. we'd like to hear are some americans with some explanation for why we should keep the drug war going. and there was, there was nobody. there was nobody that wanted to just say, yep, another 40 years, another trillion dollars. they do debate all of us when we go on tv and those of us here -- i'm talking to people who know about this issue probably better than i do here at harvestside. there are people that are paid and making a living off arguing to keep the drug war going, but that's the key factor, they're being paid to say those things. i believe, dale, correct me if i'm wrong, that the drug czar himself is prohibited by federal law from speaking out against the controlled substances act.
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so you're the drug czar, you don't have free speech, you're not allowed to tell the truth. as a journalist of two decades, go to my web site. i've been working from five continents for two decades, i've never seen an issue as black and white of this. and i recognized i risk in button-downed circles being stigmatized as being another of these peace men. it's not that. as a patriot, my journalistic take is ending the drug war is good for america, and i think it's going to happen. >> yeah, you mentioned a word which rang a bell with me, cartels. actually, side note, i don't know how many people realize but cartels really is a misnomer. cartel has a definition and economically it means a group of producers who form a monopoly and control the price. and as we know, there is no monopoly of marijuana producers. it's fiercely competitive, the market, even amongst the mexicans. but what i'm interested in is
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what presence did you detect in mendicino county of so-called cartels, whatever those might be? >> i should have known i'd be getting such great questions here today. for those of you who don't know, most do, but let me make sure i got your title right, dale is the director of the national organization of the formalization of marijuana laws. this is a ph.d.-knowledgeable man, and here i am a johnny come lately giving a lecture to him, so i feel very, very humble in the presence of many people in this room. terrific question. so his question was, was i seeing a lot of is probably wrongly called cartels, but let's say south of the border organized crimes, was i seeing a lot of that? the answer is, no, and i'll give you a few examples of that. but just so people know, even if the number 70% of organized
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crime profits come from cannabis in mexico, even if that's a little high, whatever, take 60% out of your own income and look how much it would hurt you. if we get that away from organized crime and put that into the taxable american economy, how much that's going to help us and help peace-loving mexicans. i live on the border, and let me tell you about the presence i see. my favorite hiking area in the world is in chihuahua state. go there every time including with my young children, whenever we can get a week, we go on a hike in these beautiful canyons. you can't miss it, the cannabis is everywhere down there. you see it in people's pickup trucks driving to market. before what turned out to be my final visit -- hopefully only for a short time -- the distributer was a family, the regional distributer for the farmers' crop down there was a family that had run the show there on the wholesale level for
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about 50 or 60 years, and the since-deposed la familia crime syndicate move inside to a wedding -- moved in to a wedding in northern chihuahua and murdered 19 people from babies to senior citizens, to the grandparents celebrating a wedding. did the horrible things, and i'm sorry how graphic this is, but it's a war that has killed 40,000 americans and creates danger in mendicino county and here in the bay area, prohibition does. that's why we've heard of al capone. anyway, they mounted the heads of these people on a stick, went down to the town square and said we're now the wholesale distributers, we're cutting prices 20%, any questions, any complaints? anybody not like it? needless to say, there was no complaints. ..
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the real deal. it really happens. it's a terrible skirred on mexico and on america. by the truckload every day over the border trucks coming over the border, mainly cannabis. there's no question that mexican organized crime exists, but where i was, i will say, come
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person to touch some person coming out of fresno, documented mexican mafia for decades surrounding fund libbers and prison gangs and stuff like that. no question their is a presence in the united states and mexican organized crime, but is also russian organized crime and lithuanian and moroccan. but in the scene of county i asked a prominent latino businessman who have frequented, he was happy to talk to me. well-off guy to the chamber of commerce. i said, they're going after the cartels. everyone there rate is an undocumented spanish speaker for the most part. are the cartels? he said it, not quite. local american mexican-americans
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who have money and are investing basically giving a job to people to grow in the forest and distributing it among latino channels regionally. that was one does opinion. but i need to know was there a mexican organized-crime the presence of this? no. the probationer doing community service. all my fellow volunteers are people doing community service for canada's farming. asked one night with the deal was. he was a latino man on probation for indoor growing. he said, it's here, sophisticated. they will even stuff in stuffed animals and put the head back on the panel.
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that was one person. one unconfirmed source, and the other latinos source that i consulted told me something totally different. i can't tell you i have a conclusive answer. >> sort of. i have heard stories. a lot of mexican farmworkers in the encino. a lot of them are growing pot. some foreign grows. i heard one story a few years ago of a, a friend of my drawer of there who littered his sight with tortillas and beans . with the radio on the spanish language station. the scam was actually going on.
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so that was one instance. who knows what's really going on in the national forest, but i just didn't see how it really lend itself to organized -- >> it's like a bogyman. >> why would you do that if you had -- you can access growing right there in mexico? >> yes. what is the point. thank you, everybody, for coming. >> doug fine, thank you. >> next weekend down here on the national mall, the national book festival be taking place sponsored by the library of congress. one of the exhibits at the library of congress tent will be books that shaped america. here is a little bit about that. there is a new exhibit at the library of congress called books that shaped america. book tv is taking a two or of that exhibit. joining us is roberta shafer, assistant librarian for the library of congress.
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why do you call that books that shaped america? >> we actually call it books that shaped america as opposed to some of the other words we considered like chased america because we think that books slowly have an impact on american society. shaped seems to be the better word to imply that kind of connotation. >> when you think of the worse shape than what you just said, what book in this exhibit comes to mind? >> that is a fabulous part of this exhibit. no one book is shaping america. so many books have had such a profound influence on american culture and society and, indeed, the very essence of what america is. it would be impossible and it really would be improper to take one book. >> okay. eighty-eight books. these it starts out with common-sense. >> escalated as. although the earliest book is actually put benjamin franklin's book on electricity.
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the 1751. so we have two books about common sense in the show. one is dr. spock's book on raising your child. a common-sense way. of course thomas paine's book that really kind of spark or save the american revolution. >> when we see these are these all first editions? >> they're not all first editions or very rare, although we have many books and a collection that would be first editions and very rare. if not one-of-a-kind. he selected the propriety of reasons. some of them have inscriptions' by other famous people. two books in this collection that i just adore our books that are part of the armed service book out reached the people who are serving in the military. we have two examples of books the soldiers -- believe no letter so central to read at the
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war front on ipod and other things. at least in the olden days. >> would the to? >> one of them as tarzan. i'm trying to think with the awareness. oh, my goodness. >> in this exhibit, a lot of novels. >> yes. novels are critical part of american culture. not only novels that the common people read, but some very high brown and very concept novels. some the appeal to people of all ages. some children's books that appeal to people of colleges. the wizard of oz, charlotte's web, hardly limited to just a children's audience. >> got the win this year as well. have those books shape american? >> many of them identified who we were becoming or the aspirations we had as a nation. others told about the experiences that we had uniquely
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as americans like the diaries of lewis and clark. many others to find a dialect. huckleberry finn or. [indiscernible] talk in dialect. so there really shaped not only our ideas of how we take today. >> you also have some social cultural books the want to ask you about. you mentioned dr. spock. a couple of cookbooks in this collection and a book called the big book. >> we also thought it was very important to look at nonfiction and books that i there were self-help or kind of broke barriers of certain kinds. so we looked across the broad spectrum of books that shaped america. we did not want to limit ourselves to a particular genre or a particular kind of book or even a certain kind of author writing style. we look for books that were innovative the kind of show
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america as an innovative country, as a kutcher that looked for part google solutions that shared her experiences broadly they used books and stories to inspire going to the frontier , and that could be literally court in the intellectual. >> you are in charge of the process. >> that's an interesting question. it was heavily a very large committee. the chair person which i think is interesting. we have a number of discussions. people brought forth titles. some believe it did not it was not all that difficult to select these books because i think as you implied this is not a definitive list. there is no article, the books the shaped america. and so we really decided what we want to do was choose books that would get america talking about
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books. that was not as difficult to find consensus on as may be choosing the 50 books or the 100 books. we did need a chair person. >> some of the books have created social movements. >> i think one of the interesting things about many of the books here are that they not only created social movements but some even lead to legislation. so we see that it's really creating the for rare of legislation to the food and drug administration being created. not only social movements, but legislation, social change. >> why 88? >> eighty-eight is really just where we decided to stop. we were worried about using a number that's commonly associated with the definitive list. we avoided ten, 25, and 100.
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beyond that it was kind of up for grabs. and get to 88 we said, we think that's a good number. it will give anyone the impression that we mean this is the 88. >> poetry cover religious books. >> we have quite a few eggs employers of poetry. so we have walt whitman, allen ginsberg. here they tried to be very clear that poetry has been an impressive part of america's history and that americans have been very committed to both writing and reading poetry. i think that continues today. >> what about religious books? >> we do have a holographic pile a lot of the books, while they would not necessarily be associated with the religion have the moralistic or kind of a do good tone to the. and we really felt that is more representative of america then
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would be a particular religious book. so we tried to look at the values of america, her spiritual sort of persona. rather than looking a particular religious books. >> roberta shaffer, headed to get your start? >> i started here over 30 years ago as the first special assistant to law library. fairly fresh out of law school. absolutely fell in love with the library of congress. thirty plus years ago as today you cannot keep me away. a room to work every morning, and i think that working here and being here surrounded by books, manuscripts, musical scores, movies, the whole gambit of what really is knowledge in america is such a thrill in such a privilege that you really are
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going to have trouble getting me to retire. >> is this exhibit open to the public? >> it's entirely open to the public. it will be open to the end of september. let's say he can't come to washington. we have a virtual version of our exit on our website. part of this exhibit, part of this conversation is an open website where we're asking people from all over the world to comment on the books to selected and tell us why you think something we selected shouldn't be on the list. we want to hear from you. so far we've heard from over 5,000 people, and we encourage everybody to go to our website. you will find the list of the books. you'll also find the opportunity